As part of his quest to seek his official Eagle Ranking, Jared held several local book drives, and reached out to many local business owners to donate money for the purchase of books. He estimated the project took him approximately 110 volunteer hours. In all, Jared collected more than 800 books, ranging from picture books to intermediate reading books.
“I thought about my childhood, and when I was a little kid I had quite a few medical issues that required me to visit the hospital a lot,” said Jared. “I remembered being in my room or the waiting room, and having nothing to do but think about how sick I was. So I thought of how entertaining a book can be, and how it takes a long time to read some of them, and just thought that might be a great way to entertain a hospitalized child.”
Phyllis McClanahan, Sutter Delta’s emergency department nurse manager, couldn’t agree more. “Our ER can get very busy, and our staff is focused on treating patients of all ages,” she said. “Having a library of children books can help a child pass the time and serve as a distraction.”
Unlike adults, children can become uncertain about their surroundings in a hospital. Popular and fun reads like “Good Night Moon,” “Ramona’s World” and “The Cat and Hat” can help turn frowns into smiles during difficult times.
“Picking up a book and reading a fun story to a child who’s hospitalized can be a real mood-changer,” said Pediatric Nurse Carol Vinzant. “Since they’re missing school because they in the hospital, giving children a book to read is an opportunity to keep children learning when they can’t attend school.”
While Jared’s project earned him his Eagle Ranking, he knows it will also make a lasting impact on many children.